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Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > Great Highland Bagpipe > Technique & Instrument
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Technique & Instrument Related to techniques, to the instrument, to the components, to maintenance.

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Old 02-25-2014, 02:48 PM   #11
Matt greenwade
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Default Re: Balance Tone Drone Reeds

Hey everyone I'm having trouble with my balance tone drone reeds. I hemped them up as required and put them in my pipes. My problem is that when I blow through the blowpipe, the drone reeds have a very loud harsh squealing noise even when the bag isn't even half full. They sound normal when I have the bag filled up, just not when I'm filling it up. They are brand new reeds, I got them yesterday but don't know what to do. I need help please! Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:30 PM   #12
9 note Tex
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Default Re: Balance Tone Drone Reeds

Try them with Highland Reeds drone values. You also may need some minor adjustments to the bridle.

These are really good reeds. Very forgiving for new pipers. I also like the wide range of easy pitch adjustment. A466 or BFlat is very easy without drone extenders. I have tried many other reeds and I keep coming back to these.
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:18 PM   #13
Matt greenwade
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Default Re: Balance Tone Drone Reeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9 note Tex View Post
Try them with Highland Reeds drone values. You also may need some minor adjustments to the bridle.

These are really good reeds. Very forgiving for new pipers. I also like the wide range of easy pitch adjustment. A466 or BFlat is very easy without drone extenders. I have tried many other reeds and I keep coming back to these.
Thanks a lot!! I had drone valves for a while but never used them. I was wanting just the experience without them, but I put them in as you said and it took the squeal right out of them! Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:25 PM   #14
Thom Moore
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Default Re: Balance Tone Drone Reeds

I second Jim McGillivray's comments above 100%. I couldn't get the earlier grey generation of this reed to work very well, so I dismissed the new yellow / black "bumblebee" generation … until I heard Patrick Molard playing them in his MacDougalls. Then Charlie Glendinning got a set and went all mushy about them. That was it -- I had to get a set. Now 4 of my students are using them and I use them in one of my sets, especially when I know I have a long blow coming up (playing for a long party on and off, etc.). They are EXTREMELY air-efficient and very steady indeed. I don't have the moisture issues, and I'm a very wet blower (goatskin bag with tube water trap only). You definitely do have to mess with them -- get the bridle set up for best efficiency, mess with the aperture adjustment to smooth out the timbre, and I even tried using a bit of Teflon tape to secure the business end of the reed to the slide in a couple cases where the fit wasn't as snug (which seemed odd given that these appear to be made to really exacting standards…). Thumbs up here, for a lighter pipe with a robust sound, and for students who are still working on their blowing.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:33 PM   #15
Patrick McLaurin
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Default Balance Tone Drone Reeds

I've got grey ones where the tongues slide up and down. The yellow that much better and worth trying?
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:01 PM   #16
Nathaniel
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Default Re: Balance Tone Drone Reeds

I like a yellow set I have. Good sound and great efficiency. I just ran out of adjustments I could make to get the bass down low enough on the pin.
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:37 AM   #17
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: Balance Tone Drone Reeds

I have been playing a yellowset for a couple of months and am so fsr pleased with them. I haven't had to play an out-door gig this so far winter (Not sure if that's lucky or not), so I can't report on how they behave in the wet nasties.

I've played them with three chanters- one pitching at concert B flat ("A"=466 Hz) two slightly higher ( A @ 470-472 Hz) and they work just fine for me.

I play a fairly light chanter reed which allows a high B and high G# which I need for some of the tunes I play. The drones don't cut out and I don't perceive any particular buzz/noise, so I'm happy with the balance.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:41 AM   #18
ifiddle2
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Default Re: Balance Tone Drone Reeds

Several members of my band play them and like them just fine. I'm starting to experiment with both grey and yellow. I like the ideas that went into the design.
Here's the video link to the design features and adjustments: http://www.highlandreeds.com/drone-reeds/
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:59 PM   #19
crblake86
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Default Re: Balance Tone Drone Reeds

I've been playing these reeds in my Dunbar P1 pipes for a couple weeks now and I'm really enjoying the sound. I find the tenors are more bold than I like, but that's fine, because I do think these reeds are worth the money.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:01 AM   #20
phinson
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Default Re: Balance Tone Drone Reeds

I've been using a set of Balance Tone reeds for a couple days. How do I get rid of the tenor squeal after cut offs?
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